With four 2-run innings, the Peoria Chiefs steadily kept their offense rolling in an 8-4 victory over the Kane County Cougars on Tuesday night at Fifth Third Bank Ballpark to open up a four-game series.
Ian Dickson started strong for the Cougars (17-18) as he shut down the Chiefs (18-17) through the first three innings while the Cougars grabbed the lead in the bottom of the second. Rock Shoulders doubled to start the inning and scored on a sacrifice fly from Bijan Rademacher.
Dickson allowed the Chiefs to take the lead for the first time in the top of the fourth. Ildemaro Vargas cracked a double to knock in Patrick Wisdom while Vargas scored on a single from Nick Martini.
Willson Contreras belted a solo homer off Hector Hernandez (2-1) in the fourth to even the score at 2-2, and both clubs traded a couple of runs in the fifth inning, including a 2-run single from Shoulders.
Justin Amlung (3-1) relieved Dickson after four innings and surrendered 4 runs (3 earned) in his 3 innings. Amlung coughed up an RBI single to Jacob Wilson that brought home Michael Swinson in the sixth. Oliver Zapata's throw to the plate from center beat Swinson, but Swinson crashed into Contreras, knocking the ball away.
Contreras was ejected on the next play when he swept his leg across home plate, trying to block Wilson from scoring on a sacrifice fly.
Peoria added 2 runs in the eighth inning off Stephen Perakslis with a sacrifice fly from Wilson and Jordan Walton's run-scoring single. Corey Baker and Zach Petrick combined for the final 3 innings out of the Peoria bullpen with no runs allowed.
The Cougars and Chiefs play in the second game of their four-game series Wednesday at 11 a.m. with right-hander Tayler Scott (1-1) starting for the Cougars against fellow righty Joe Cuda (2-1).